Aug 15, 2012

Oromo: Kidnappings By Ethiopian Security Agents

Two Oromo nationals who were kidnapped and taken away by government security agents, their friends and family and are highly concerned about the men’s safety and whereabouts since torture is not uncommon in Ethiopia. 

Below is a press release from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA):


The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa is highly concerned about the safety and whereabouts of two Oromo nationals who were kidnapped and taken away by government security agents.

According to reports obtained by the HRLHA through its local correspondents, Mr. Biranu Nagari Calchisa, a father of six, was kidnapped from his home in the Ayyana town of Gidda Ayyana District in Eastern Wollega Province in the middle of the night on the 20th of July, 2012. Mr. Calchisa’s family and friends have never heard from him ever since he was taken away by armed security forces; and his whereabouts are not known. Sources added that this is the second time for Mr. Calschisa to be a victim of extrajudicial actions under the same TPLF/EPRDF regime.

In 2000, he was arrested in his hometown and taken to the capital Addis Ababa/Finfinne, where he was detained at the Kalitti and Ma’ikelawi prisons.

Similarly, Mr. Tesfa Getahun Barkessa, also a father of six, a businessman of age 42 and a resident of Najjo town in Western Wollaga Province was abducted from his workplace by security forces on August 2nd, 2012, at 5:00pm local time.

Mr. Tesfa G. Barkessa was seen at Naqamte Hospital, a few days later after his disappearance, escorted by strange people.

Both Mr. Biranu N. Calchisa and Mr. Tesfa G. Barkessa were said to be hardworking citizens, who were very well respected in their Community. Not only the families and friends of these two Oromo nationals, but also HRLHA is highly concerned about their safety and wellbeing, as their whereabouts are not known ever since they disappeared. There is also a very high fear that both Mr. Biranu N. Calchisa and Mr. Tesfa G. Barkessa might have been subjected to tortures and other forms of ill-treatments. The HRLHA calls up on the Ethiopian Government to unconditionally release the two Oromo national; or allow the due process of law to take place in case the two are suspected of committing any crime.

HRLHA also calls up on all regional and international human rights organizations as well as the Western allies of the Ethiopian government to put all available pressures on the ruling TPLF/EPRDF Party so that it refrains from committing such extra-judicial acts of intimidation and harassment against innocent citizens. Such acts are not just endangering the lives of the targeted individuals, but also ruining the futures of their offspring and other dependants.

Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, Ahmaric, or your own language expressing:

concern regarding the apprehension and fear of torture of the citizens, who are being held in different detention centers, including the infamous Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office; and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;

urging the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that these detainees would be treated in accordance with the regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners, and  to disclose the whereabouts of the detainees; and

Your concerns to diplomatic representatives in Ethiopia who are accredited to your country.